2012 Deer Season Summary
The 2012 deer season has, so far, been a season of ups and downs. Overall, the hunting has been average. Nothing special, but nothing terrible either. However, when we dissect the season week by week, we see that 2012 has been a wild rollercoaster ride.
October was the slow uphill climb. You know, the one that builds anticipation at first, but halfway through your patience runs out and you are ready for the action. Cool weather at the end of September had us rearing to go for the season opener. Sightings and a few missed opportunities gave a sneak peek into what we thought would be in store for the rest of the season, and we were excited. Week two was more of the same. Sightings but no shots are very frustrating for a guide, but still there was optimism about the deer we were seeing. Week three and four were uneventful, which changed the mood from optimistic excitement to determination to make something happen.
Finally, on November 2nd a big buck hit the ground! Measuring just over 173”, the typical ten point was exactly the motivation we needed to turn the season around. During the next week, 9 out of 14 hunters fired arrows and others passed on shooter bucks to see what monster might show up next. This is the type of hunting we were expecting this season, and every one in camp felt that the sky was the limit for 2012. BBD, shot fired, deer down, etc are the most beautiful things a whitetail guide in Pike County, Il. can read in a text message, but even they can turn dismal if followed by “I think I made a bad shot”, “I hit him in the shoulder, the arrow had no penetration”, “I don’t know where I hit it, but I sure hope it dies”. This was the story of November. Each week there were shots taken on nice bucks, but sadly some of them didn’t make it back to camp. The good news is that a lot of these bucks were either recovered later, or we have seen then alive and well on trail camera and in person.
December is now winding down. A couple of decent gun seasons started things off with a few archery kills mixed in. Heading into New Years, we now begin to focus on some doe management, and taking inventory of what bucks made it through this crazy season with our trail cameras. Late season is an excellent time for us to begin scouting for next October. Many nice bucks, both young and mature, have been seen on our properties. Seeing these bucks gets me excited for 2013. I hope everyone has a great late season and a Happy New Year!